Okra, sometimes called okro, ochro or ladies fingers, features often in Nigerian cooking. Truth be told, nobody really knows which country okra originally came from, but it is loved by many across South Asia, Ethiopia and West Africa, including me! Okra comes in different sizes and colours. 3 varieties are pictured, with the smallest (far right) most used in Nigerian cooking. Whatever the size and colour of the okra, they all taste the same...great!
Did you know that okra is not a vegetable, but a fruit? When raw, okra is 90% water, which makes it a great food to include in a balanced weight loss diet.
In my mind, okra can be eaten two ways, wet (viscous, slimy texture) or dry (crunchy). For light snacks, I prefer okra 'dry'... sliced, then blanched, steamed or pickled in vinegar.
This salad okra salad has very few ingredients, yet is surprisingly super tasty and moreish! It's Vegan and FODMAP friendly; a good choice for those of us with Celiac disease, IBS, a wheat allergy or gluten sensitivity (up to 75g okra and 40g mango).
The secret to the great taste of this salad is super fresh okra. The fresher the okra the drier and crunchier the salad! You can test an okra for freshness by bending its 'tail'. If the end of the okra snaps when you apply pressure, the okra is fresh. If it bends the okra is still edible, but I find that it produces more 'slime' when steamed.
I blasted sliced okra in the microwave for 30 seconds, until the flesh was soft, but not soggy. If you don't have a microwave, you could easily blanch the okra instead by placing it whole in a pan of boiling water for 1-2 minutes. After letting it cool slightly you can then cut it into slices.
Mango goes so well with okra in a salad. I always choose a super ripe mango. The sweetness and slippery texture of mango compliments the okra well well. The juices from the mango also mean that no other salad dressing is really needed! Though you could add whatever dressing you like. Lemon & honey would be very nice.
Finally, I added some fresh mint leaves and gem marigold flowers to my salad. In my opinion, the mint leaves are a must!! The gem marigolds look extra pretty and pack a spicy punch...will you try making an okra mango salad today? You can really unleash your creativity with this no recipe, recipe!
If you decide to give this salad a go, please share your thoughts, pictures and recipe tweaks. Good luck!
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